Urbanisation rate tripled from 28.4% to 75.1% in last 50 years, census shows

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's urbanisation rate has tripled over five decades from 28.4% in 1970 to 75.1% in 2020, says the Statistics Department of Malaysia (DOSM).

Sharing further details, chief statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said the urbanisation rate in Malaysia, having tripled since 1970, is influenced by natural population increases, migration and demarcation.

"The urbanisation rate of 50.7% began to surpass the rural rate of 49.3% in 1991.

DOSM said this was based on their Key Findings of Population and Housing Census of Malaysia 2020: Urban and Rural publication.

"Over the five decades, the urban population has expanded by 21.4 million from three million to 24.4 million.

"Meanwhile, the rural population was 8.1 million persons in 2020 compared to 7.5 million in 1970.

"Six states have reached above the 85% mark in urbanisation in 2020 as compared to only five states in 2010.

"In terms of administrative districts, 31 have exceeded the target in 2020 compared to 22 administrative districts in 2010," he said.

The target of 85% refers to the national urbanisation rate stipulated under the Fourth National Physical Plan by 2040, he added in a statement Friday (Dec 23).

Mohd Uzir who was citing DOSM's Key Findings of Population and Housing Census of Malaysia 2020: Urban and Rural publication said Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya recorded 100% of its population living in urban areas, followed by Selangor (95.8%), Penang (92.5%) and Melaka (90.9%).

"Meanwhile, Kelantan (44.1%), Pahang (52.8%) and Perlis (53.8%) have the lowest rates of urbanisation in 2020.

"In terms of increase in urbanisation rate, Labuan had the highest increase, rising from 81.9% in 2010 to 88.9% in 2020.

"Selangor has the largest urban population of 6.7 million (4.9 million in 2010), followed by Johor with 3.1 million (2.3 million in 2010) and Kuala Lumpur with two million (1.6 million in 2010), while Sabah has the highest rural population of 1.5 million.

"The number of living quarters in 2020 was recorded at 9.6 million with 7.4 million (76.6%) in urban areas and 2.2 million (23.3%) in rural areas.

"Living quarters in urban areas showed that Selangor has the highest number (2.1 million), followed by Johor (992,200) and Kuala Lumpur (634,600)."

This publication presents statistics on urban and rural populations, living quarters, households, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, marital status and average private household size.

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